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Full text of "Building World Class Schools for Iowa a Legislative Brief"

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January 14,2013 


Schools for Iowa: 

Dear lowans, 

As the first gavel of the 2013 legislative session falls, I'm pleased to provide this 
legislative brief on the components of the education reform package introduced by 
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. At full implementation, this package 
invests $187 million into our schools. 

The Iowa Department of Education has joined the Office of the Governor to 
prepare a set of legislative proposals that will bring Iowa closer to its goal of 
providing a world-class education to all children, no matter where they live. This 
legislative brief serves as an overview of that legislation, which I encourage you to 
read and discuss in greater detail. 

The goals behind these policies are straightforward: Comprehensively and 
systematically raise and support the teaching profession while expanding efforts to 
customize instruction to every student's passion and talents. Iowa's children deserve 
the best education we can provide so they leave our schools with the knowledge 
and skills necessary for successful and rewarding lives. 

Iowa has many good schools with hard-working, talented educators who deserve 
our respect and appreciation. While we honor the past work of generations of 
lowans who built a strong foundation in education, it is our responsibility - and 
our turn - to make a focused, dedicated effort to improve Iowa's schools. We 
stand at a pivotal moment in Iowa's storied education history, in which we have the 
opportunity and will as a community to make the transition from being "good" to 
being "great." 


Jason E. Glass, Ed.D. 

State Director and Chief Learner 

Iowa Department of Education 

Building World-Class Schools for Iowa - page I 

Component I : Teacher Leadership and 
Compensation System 


This proposal is based on the 
recommendations of the Task 
Force on Teacher Leadership 
and Compensation, which 
represented diverse 
perspectives from across 

Key Elements: 

• Raise starting salaries: 

Make teaching more 
attractive with a minimum 
starting salary of $35,000 

• Improve entry into 
the profession: Create a 
residency year for all new 
teachers that includes a 
reduced teaching load 
and increased learning 

• Enhance career 

Design a system of 
career pathways with 
differentiated pay and 

• Address labor market 

issues: Provide incentives 
for teachers to teach in 
high-need schools 

What iVs about: Teachers are the most 
important influence on learning inside 
schools, and they are being asked to do 
increasingly complex work to prepare 
all children for this knowledge- and 
innovation-based global economy. This 
requires better preparation of new 
teachers and better support for teachers 
already in the classroom to more 
effectively meet the needs of each student. 

That's why the centerpiece of the 
Branstad-Reynolds administration's 
education package is establishing a 
new teacher 
leadership and 
system. This 
system will 
put many of 
Iowa's top 
teachers in new 
leadership roles 
alongside school 
It's no longer 
realistic to 
expect one 
principal to 
provide all the 
needed in 
each school. 
the academic 
of students 

improving the instruction they receive 
each day. There is no better way to do 
this than to empower our best teachers to 
lead the effort. 

We must give the most effective teachers 
the opportunity to both teach and lead, 
and we must foster greater collaboration 

among all teachers. Many talented 
people become teachers to make a 
difference, but there are few ways to 
advance professionally without leaving 
the classroom. This new system keeps 
our best teachers in front of children, but 
they are paid more to take on leadership 
responsibility for the purposes of 
strengthening the teaching around them. 
This plan spreads out great teaching and 
makes an impact on more students. It also 
ensures our most effective teachers earn 
entry into the leadership pathways through 
the establishment of a rigorous and fair 
selection process. 

In addition, this 
structure makes 
teaching more 
attractive to top 
students. The 
proposal raises the 
$28,000 minimum 
annual starting 
salary to $35,000 
and improves entry 
into the profession 
by providing new 
teachers additional 
opportunities for 
mentoring and 
collaboration. This 
includes a reduced 
teaching load during 
their first year so 
they have time to 
observe outstanding 

Such an approach raises the status of the 
profession by paying teachers more at the 
beginning of their careers and providing 
additional opportunities for growth and 
leadership throughout their careers. 

Finally, the proposal helps Iowa's highest- 
need schools become more competitive 

Building World-Class Schools for Iowa - page 2 

Component I : Teacher Leadership and 
Compensation System cont. 

in recruiting and retaining outstanding 
teachers. It provides state assistance to 
increase the compensation for teachers in 
schools where high teacher turnover may 
affect student achievement growth. 

Ultimately, this system is about 
strengthening the teaching profession for 
the benefit of both students and teachers. 

school districts will have the opportunity 
to apply for a planning grant to determine 
how to adapt the system to the local 
context. The system will take effect for 
all schools in the 2016-17 school year, 
and districts will be able to apply for early 
implementation beginning in the 2014-15 
school year. 

Effective implementation of this system 
will be critical to its success. Accordingly, 

Career Pathways 

■ . 

The plan also establishes emeritus teachers to better utilize the talent of retired 

State Budget Impact: 

First year (FY 20 1 4): $5 million 

Second year (FY 20 1 5): $60 million 

Fully implemented (Annual cost): $160 million 

Building World-Class Schools for Iowa - page 3 

Component 2: Teach Iowa Initiative 

Key Elements: 

• Tuition 
reimbursement: $4,000 
a year - $20,000 total 

- for top students who 
commit to teach in Iowa 
schools for five years 

• Hard-to-hire subject 

areas: Many of these 
awards will go to students 
majoring in hard-to- 
hire subject areas, such 
as science, technology, 
engineering, and 

• Student teaching 
pilot: Strengthen clinical 
experience with a full 
year of student teaching 
in the senior year of 
college, rather than the 
typical one semester 

• Jobs board: A statewide 
education job posting 

What iVs about: A common theme 
among the world's highest-performing 
school systems is that they attract top 
talent into the teaching pipeline. The 
Teach Iowa Initiative is a committed 
effort to do the same in Iowa. This 
initiative builds on an existing program to 
provide both relief and incentive through 
tuition reimbursement to top students 
who commit to teach in Iowa schools for 
five years. 

Tuition reimbursement will be available 
only to those students whose academic 
credentials are better than, or equal to, 
the top 25 percent of candidates in the 
state's approved teacher preparation 
programs and who demonstrate 
important traits for teaching, such as 
dedication and relationship-building. 
Many of these awards will go to students 
majoring in hard-to-hire subject areas, 
such as science, technology, engineering, 
and mathematics. Upon college 
graduation and placement in a classroom, 
Teach Iowa scholars will be awarded 
$4,000 a year for up to 
five years of teaching. This 
approach not only reduces 
the financial burdens of 
those scholars, it also 
gives Iowa students access 
to highly trained, highly 
competent instructors in 
challenging subject areas. 

The Teach Iowa Initiative 
also includes a pilot 
program to strengthen 
clinical experience with a 
full year of student teaching 
in the senior year of college, 

rather than the typical one semester. 
This is modeled after a successful 
program at Arizona State University that 
aims to turn out brand-new teachers 
who tend to be as effective as second- 
year teachers. Student teachers receive 
intensive support and training, similar to 
that of the medical profession. Because 
many new teachers leave the profession 
within a few years, it's clear that more 
support and training are necessary. 

Finally, the Teach Iowa Initiative includes 
a simplified approach to connecting 
teachers with job openings in schools. 
It establishes a statewide web-based 
education job posting system that will 
make the processes for hiring and 
applying for jobs more efficient. This 
system will reduce paperwork for 
applicants, provide cost savings to school 
districts and taxpayers, keep hiring 
decisions within school districts, and 
will provide better data about educator 
supply and demand. 

State Budget Impact*: 

First year (FY 20 1 4): $3 million 

Second year (FY 20 1 5): $3 million 

Fully implemented (Annual cost): $13.5 million 

^Includes student teaching pilot program 

Building World-Class Schools for Iowa 

page 4 

Component 3: Iowa Promise Diploma Seals 

Why a NCLB waiver? 

• Not a retreat from 
accountability. While 
the No Child Left Behind 
law has advanced some 
important reforms by 
shifting attention to 

the country's neediest 
students, it's also widely 
acknowledged that the 
law has created some 
unrealistic measures in 
its attempt to hold the 
nation's public schools 

• In Iowa: We still expect 
our schools to meet 
high standards. But we 
need a fair approach that 
recognizes that students 
come to school with 
different starting points 
and emphasizes growth 
and progress. 

What it's about: This program uses 
diploma seals to identify and recognize 
graduating high school seniors who 
have demonstrated through certain 
competencies that they are college- and 
career-ready. These competencies include 
a college readiness exam or a career 
readiness assessment made available at 
no cost to students who are completing 
a core and specialized course of study at 
a high level, as well as a senior portfolio 
assessment requiring the demonstration 
of concepts such as collaboration, critical 
thinking, and creativity. The seals are an 
optional addition to diplomas awarded 
by Iowa high schools for students who 

choose to pursue and earn them. The 
purpose is to help students better prepare 
for the future and to align education with 
workforce development in a thoughtful way. 
A blue-ribbon commission of business and 
education leaders will set high standards for 
the seals to better define what it means to 
be college- or career-ready, with the goal 
of providing automatic college entrance or 
a hiring preference for students who earn 
the diploma seal. The first Iowa Promise 
Diploma Seals will be available to the 
graduating class of 2015. The program will 
be fully implemented by July 1 , 20 1 7, when 
students entering high school during the 
20 1 3- 1 4 school year will be graduating. 

State Budget Impact: 

First year (FY 2014): $4 million 

Second year (FY 20 1 5): $4 million 

Fully implemented (Annual cost): $10 million 

Component 4: Educator Development System 

What it's about: Iowa needs to update 
teacher and administrator standards and 
evaluations to provide more valuable 
feedback and to enable the state to win 
a waiver from components of the federal 
No Child Left Behind law. In 2012, Iowa 
became the first state in the nation to be 
rejected for a waiver application because 
the state does not meet requirements 
in the areas of educator evaluations. 
This has resulted in a stalled effort to 
replace a one-size-fits-all accountability 
framework that unfairly blames schools 
serving more at-risk and disadvantaged 
students with a state accountability system 
that emphasizes growth and fits Iowa's 
context. However, the U.S. Department 
of Education has left the door open for a 
waiver, contingent upon legislative action 
to give the Iowa Department of Education 

authority to develop and implement an 
evaluation framework that differentiates 
performance using three levels and also 
factors in student outcomes. This proposal 
develops such a system through inclusive 
input from a commission of education 
leaders to guide the Iowa Department of 
Education in this policy area. 

In addition, the eight teaching standards 
that have been in place in Iowa for the 
past I I years will be updated by July I, 
2015. These updates will be made by 
the Iowa Department of Education with 
recommendations from the commission. 
This new system of educator standards 
will create consistency in the professional 
pipeline for teachers, from preparation to 

State Budget Impact: 

First year (FY 20 1 4): $500,000 

Second year (FY 20 1 5): $3.5 million 

Fully implemented (Annual cost): $3.5 million 

Building World-Class Schools for Iowa - page 5 

Component 5: Expanding the Iowa Learning 
Online Program 

What is ILO? 

Iowa Learning Online 
provides online instruction 
with Iowa licensed instructors 
in various academic subjects, 
including those that are hard 
to fill or in situations where 
a school district has lost the 
services of an instructor. This 
popular program has filled an 
academic gap in this state and 
has helped school districts 
meet their educational needs. 

Iowa Learning Online 

What it's about: Statewide demand far 
outpaces the supply of services provided 
through Iowa Learning Online, a state- 
run system that has provided high-quality 
courses online and through the Iowa 
Communications Network since 2004. 
This federally funded Iowa Department 
of Education program reaches fewer than 
1 ,000 students a year. Classes have waiting 
lists, and many students who want to take 
challenging courses that are not available 
in their schools are turned away from 
Iowa Learning Online because of limited 
resources. Federal funding 
is capped, which stymies 
expansion. An infusion 
of state resources would 
expand the Iowa Learning 
Online program's ability to 
serve students and school 
districts in Iowa. 

Senate File 2284, adopted in the 2012 
legislative session, took major steps to 
define online education in Iowa. One of 
those steps was to codify Iowa Learning 
Online to provide support and long-term 
stability for the work of the program. This 
proposal provides $1.5 million in seed 
money for three consecutive years to help 
Iowa Learning Online transition to a self- 
financing model and to expand services to 
about 2,500 students a year. In the long 
term, Iowa Learning Online will be funded 
only through users on a fee-based system. 

State Budget Impact*: 

First year (FY 20 1 4): $ 1 .5 million 
Second year (FY 20 1 5): $ 1 .5 million 
Third year (FY 20 1 6): $ 1 .5 million 

^Transitions to a fee-based system after third year 

Education Reform Package -Total Program Costs 


FY 2014 

FY 2015 

FY 2016 

FY 2017 

FY 2018 

Teacher Leadership and 
Compensation System 



$1 10,000,000 



Teach Iowa Initiative 






Iowa Promise Diploma 






Educator Development 






Expanding the Iowa 
Learning Online Program 












Building World-Class Schools for Iowa 

page 6